Name: Miraj Hammam Spa
Type of Spa: Turkish Baths
The Setting for Miraj Hammam:Located on the South Granville Rise, Vancouvers hot district with an array of shops, restaurants and galleries, Miraj Hammam Spa is small and elegant. Dont expect hordes of bathers here. Only 20 people are booked in daily, making it both intimate and non-intimidating.
The Spa at Miraj Hammam: The day spa is owned and operated by Surinder Bains-Kassour, whose passion for hammams was inspired by a visit to a Parisian hammam 17 years ago. Bains-Kassour says that in centuries past, the hammam was known as the silent doctor. It was a place of cleansing and healing for both the body and soul, and thats the essence of her spa today. Going solo is fine, but the spa makes for a great girl getaway. Group bookings are available.
Dressed in flip-flops and colorful sarongs, my girlfriend and I ventured into the foggy, candlelit arena. Marble, marble, everywhere! Lying down on one of the slabs, I breathed in the Eucalyptus scented mist and eventually ventured into the high intensity steam chamber. Sipping on water, the sweat started rolling off my body and I felt the toxins escaping. My joints and muscles were softening and I was totally relaxed.
The Treatments at Miraj Hammam:Now it was time for the gommage, the cleansing and exfoliation component. Lying on Jerusalem gold marble, the aesthetician exfoliated me front and back with authentic black Moroccan soap, scrubbing me with a loofah. It was a throwback to those days when mom used to bathe and scrub me in the family tub. Then it was time for the hose down, my favorite part. Its a Turkish car wash! I told my guide, as the pure, clean water washed over me. I laughed and smiled and didnt want to leave. I was ten years old.
Although the hammam and gommage experience can end here, I recommend following it up with a massage and/or a facial. The best is to do both, and I booked a 30-minute massage with a Nettoyage de Peau facial (this is a 15-minute cleansing facial that includes toning, exfoliation and massage). Toning masques are also offered featuring papaya/clay and algae/essential oils.
It wasnt easy leaving the massage table, but the Sultana Lounge was my final destination. The exotic room is decked out in elegant drapes, velvet beds and silk cushions. Wrapping up in a blanket, I joined my friend, and as we sipped Middle Eastern tea and relished the sweet cakes, I thought of those women centuries ago who made weekly visits to the hammam to be cleansed, purified and just as importantly to socialize. This timeless tradition carries on in Vancouver, B.C.
What's Special about Miraj Hammam: All that water! The hammam is pure bliss, from the eucalyptus steam to the gommage to the waterworks afterwards. It's cleansing and exhilirating with the plus of gentle and nurturing guides.
What Could Be Better: It's located on a busy street, so both the reception and lounge areas could be better insulated from outside noise.
Prices at Miraj Hammam: Begin at $99 for the Hammam and Gommage with a 15-Minute Orientale Massage
Hours at Miraj Hammam: Open Tuesday-Sunday (Women Only hours Tuesday-Saturday and Men Only hours Thursday and Sunday)
Contact Info for Miraj Hammam: 1495 West 6th Avenue (at Granville), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6H 4G1. Phone: 604-733-5151 www.mirajhammam.com
Where to Stay Near Miraj Hammam:
Hotel Le Soleil, A jewel box of a hotel. Phone: 877.632.3030 www.lesoleilhotel.com
Wedgewood Hotel, an intimate boutique hotel. Phone: 800-663-0666 www.wedgewoodhotel.com
Opus Hotel, a fun, hip spot in Yaletown. Phone: 866.642.6787 www.opushotel.com